Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he’s opened talks over a new contract with the English Premier League soccer club.
Wenger’s contract expires after this season and the 63-year-old turned down overtures from French champion Paris Saint-Germain earlier this year. He said his intention is to remain at the north London club and has already spoken with chief executive Ivan Gazidis.
“I am committed to staying longer at this club, I’ve already had a chat with Ivan,” Wenger told reporters as Arsenal players arrived yesterday in Indonesia to begin their Asian tour, according to the Daily Mail. “The link with PSG is there because I’m French and I know the owners. I’m not at PSG because my heart is with Arsenal.”
Wenger has led Arsenal since 1996 but has faced growing pressure from fans because the last time the club won a trophy was the 2005 F.A. Cup.
The Mail said Wenger has 70 million pounds ($106 million) to spend for transfers this offseason. He’s trying to complete a club-record 23 million-pound signing of Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain.
Arsenal has also had a 30-million-pound bid for Liverpool’s Luis Suarez rejected and expressed interest in Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney.
“We have better financial resources than the years before and we have created that ourselves,” Wenger said on Arsenal’s website. “We will see what we can do until the end of the transfer period and certainly before the new season starts. That’s what we are working on at the moment.”
Arsenal opens the Premier League season at home against Aston Villa on Aug. 17.